It’s tough to top the deliciousness of a tote! Sure, they scream summer, but this enduring style is truly a year-round staple – the quintessential grab and go bag. Here, five that are certain to tickle your fancy…
- Natural Jute Polka Dot by Cathy’s Concepts, available at Target ($28): These guys hit the bullseye once again! And, bonus… personalization is free!
- La Dolce Vita Jute by the lady & the sailor ($145): From one of my favorite LA boutiques, this style instantly sweeps you away.
- Cotton Canvas Stripe Trim by Helen Jon ($78): Ultra roomy, with a magnetic closure, it doesn’t get more classic than this monogrammed, stylish number from an ultra desirable luxury brand! (Stay tuned – I’ll be giving away this fabulous tote later this week!)
- Toucan Canvas by Sunnylife ($20): Add a high dose of pop to any look with this darn right adorable design.
- Navy Mariner Canvas Stripe by Clare V. ($277 on sale) Grab one of these babies with mega French flair while you can (as they’re currently on sale!) from this coveted designer. Ooh, la la…
Maintaining silky soft skin year-round can be a battle, but these creams make it a breeze. And, half of them are priced around $10 or less…
- Lubriderm Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15 ($5.99): I keep a bottle (it has sunscreen!) close to the front door for everyone in the family; the pump makes it easy to quickly apply before heading outdoors.
- Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Body Lotion ($10): When skin feels extra dry, this is my go-to.
- Lather Mangosteen Green Tea Moisturizer ($18): Light texture, lovely scent, and gets rid of pesky rough patches.
- Aerin Rose Hand & Body Cream ($40): Sinks right in with an alluring subtle rose scent, and a tube this pretty is meant to be out on the countertop.
- Yes To Coconut Ultra Light Spray Body Lotion ($9.99): Fun to apply (kids love spritzing it), and you can feel good about the ingredients.
Confession: I’m a complete sucker for snacks. Whenever I hit the market (at least three times per week), I giddily glide down the aisles looking for foods I haven’t yet tried. Discovering something new, healthy and wildly tasty for the entire family is a huge treat for me (often times it’s all about the little things). Below are five faves – they’re all gluten-free, low-fat, non-GMO (meaning no genetically modified organisms), and big time kid/grown-up approved — perfect additions to the lunchbox, desktop drawer and ideal any time of day. Dive in…
- Bare Snacks Banana Chips: Love the ingredient list – just baked ’til crispy bananas, that’s all. Also not to be missed are the Apple Chips, next on my list…
- Bare Snacks Apple Chips: Available in three lip-smacking flavors – Fuji Apple, Granny Smith, and Cinnamon Apple.
- Imlakesh Organics Macambo Beans: Packed with protein and fiber, these crunchy little numbers from the Amazon Rainforest will knock your socks off!
- Flora Baobites Superfruit Snacks: As a hardcore gummy-candy lover, these are a delicious, much healthier alternative. Made with Baobab (a wild-harvested superfruit), they’re loaded with electrolytes, antioxidants and Vitamin C.
- Pop Corners Popped Corn Chips: Every single one of their gluten-free flavors are a delight! I’m particularly fond of Smokin’ Jalapeño White Cheddar, Cheddar Feel Good and Carnival Kettle.
- World Peas Fava Crisps: Another grab-n-go, crispity-crunchity hit with 4 grams of protein per serving; the Vinegar & Sea Salt are a hit in our home.
I’ve always loved CPK. Tough to resist their wildly gourmet pizzas, supreme light bites (those shrimp lettuce cups) and their primo salads (who hasn’t indulged in that heavenly Barbecue Chicken?). As a mom, I’m also a big fan of their very kid-friendly menu and have frequented this forever-a-favorite dining destination on a regular basis with the kids in tow. Now, with the launch of their new seasonal menu items at the original Beverly Hills location on Beverly Drive, I’ve been hitting CPK for many an adults-only outing — and, we grown-ups are loving every bite (and sip) of it. These divine menu additions along with the artisanal cocktails, which are expected to roll out in all CPK’s very soon, have me hooked! A few of my favorites:
Lobster Roll Flatbread
OK, need I say more? The authentic taste will have you thinking you’ve just landed on the shores of Maine. I could easily eat several orders of this.
The new cocktail additions alone are worthy of a visit. This refreshing concoction is made with Fresh Avocado & Mint, Agave Sour, Fennel, Vodka and Salt Rim. Fancy right?
Talk about a sophisticated dish. I devoured every morsel of it.
Give me strength here! This slice of perfection must have come straight from Cloud 9. I’m weak even thinking about it.
Enough of the daydreaming. I know exactly where I’m having dinner tonight…
Who doesn’t appreciate soft silky skin, especially during these drying winter months? I can’t live without Barr- Co’s Salve/Balm in Original Scent. The ingredient list is short and sweet – jojoba oil, beeswax, oat extract. It has a dreamy, subtle fragrance that I’ll describe as a mixture of toasted milk, light musk and coconut. Bottom line, I find the scent irresistible and apparently so do hordes of others because I get stopped day and night when I wear it. I’m loving how it smells so much that I often wear it as a fragrance by dabbing it onto my neck and wrists. And, it’s also an amazing moisturizer – I use it all over my body and even smooth a bit of it through my hair and onto dry ends. The coconut aroma makes this balm perfect for the summer too. Added bonus: it’s only $11.50 and a little goes a long way, so this stuff lasts and melts right into your skin. Moisturizer-Light Fragrance-Hair Smoother – talk about a year round, three-in-one beauty must have!
In the mood to jazz things up in the bedroom? Saunter on over to Z Gallerie. I’ve flipped for these ultra luxurious “Sophia” Euro Shams. And, at $59.95 a pop, you can transform the look of your bed for under $150 clams. They come in several colors including ivory (my favorite), charcoal and aubergine (or in more simple terms, a deep shade of purple). Now your dreams will be even sweeter…
As a perennial devotee of trying to stay fit, I have a drawer full of exercise garb. For years I lived in the dark ages with my plain cotton t-shirts and loose fitting leggings. Fortunately I stepped up my look and moved into actual workout wear made from fabrics created for moving your body. Cozy yet feminine designs are key. When it comes to tops I look for something that caresses the body with enough room to breathe. And, I prefer my workout pants on the tighter side with a wider constructed waist band to help avoid feeling like they’re sucking the life out of me. When I discovered Under Armour my initial thought was “that line is just for dudes and athletes.” I had no idea they offered such a huge variety of stylish and sexy workout duds for women. Plus, they’re always on the cutting edge of technology with their fabrics and textiles, so this is a line that’s all about comfort and performance. Their Women’s Victory Tank Top is my go to. In addition to black this tank also comes in many different vibrant colors to punch up your look. And, then there’s my personal award-winner, the Gather N’ Give Capri. The ruched waistband makes these little numbers the perfect fit. They compress my body in all of the right places and help keep that unsightly muffin top from creeping out. After slipping on this gear I’m more rearing to go. Can’t beat that at 7 am.
Over the last year I’ve become quite the green tea connoisseur. Tea has always been my preference over coffee, but Earl Grey was my go to. I still love my Earl and the alluring oil of Bergamot aroma that wafts from the cup. I’ve dabbled with the green variety for years because it’s touted as such a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are said to help prevent aging and chronic diseases. Now, who doesn’t want to down a cup full of that? It’s just that every variety of green I sampled tasted really bland, and I couldn’t get past a few sips before tossing it. Everything changed when I discovered Rishi Matcha Super Green. Matcha is said to be loaded with more antioxidants (i.e. anti-aging, anti-aging, anti-aging) than pomegranates or blueberries. Pure matcha comes in the form of a powder (the leaves are finely ground). Mighty Leaf also offers nice varieties of matcha tea and they even have a trusty how-to video on the preparation of matcha. The Matcha Super Green by Rishi is a blend of both matcha powder and sencha tea leaves. I simply place a tablespoon full into my strainer, pour on some hot water and let the green goodness fill up the mug. I love the taste – it’s definitely mellow, earthy and, well, green. Matcha is also said to be an energy booster, which I can definitely attest to and it’s reportedly helpful in burning calories. Let us review shall we: matcha is anti-aging, energy-boosting, calorie-burning and tasty – basically there’s really no good reason not to be drinking this stuff!